*VIDEO/PICTURES* The Art Exhibit That Caused Islamists And Leftists To Go Apeshit


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Baltimore Erupts Into Chaos As Likely Obama Supporters Decide To Riot Over Freddie Gray Death (Pictures)

Baltimore Erupts Into Chaos: Protesters Clash With Police, Smash Windows, And Attack Baseball Fans – Intellihub

What started as a series of peaceful rallies held to protest the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray turned into chaos when groups of protesters turned violent, attacking police and harassing stunned baseball fans outside Camden Yards.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Baltimore in what was originally a peaceful rally at city hall to protest the death of Gray, who died last Sunday from spinal injuries and whose death has added fuel to the racial fire just months after Ferguson.

“The mood shifted dramatically when several scores of protesters moved on to the Camden Yards baseball stadium, an hour before the scheduled start of a Baltimore Orioles-Boston Red Sox game,” reported the Associated Press.

“Clashes have broken out in Baltimore’s Camden Yards as demonstrators began throwing bottles at police and smashing cars. Thousands of marchers took to the streets to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died after being detained by police.”

Over 1,500 protesters gathered near the spot that Gray was arrested at on April 12th and eventually moved to city hall where they replaced the American flag with a black and white flag in apparent protest of the country itself.

“The Baltimore PD were out in force and had been keeping a watchful eye over the protesters. Some of the demonstrators had urged law enforcement officers to “stand down,” while they were also holding placards and shouting, “hands up, don’t shoot” at the cops. Chants of “Freddie, Freddie” could also be heard from the sizable number of demonstrators,” reported RT.

Fans at the Baltimore Orioles baseball game taking place at Camden Yards as the protests raged outside were temporarily forced to stay inside the stadium after an announcement came over the loudspeaker that informed them that for safety reasons the Mayor of Baltimore was “asking” everyone to stay inside and not attempt to leave.

Before the game even started fans at or near the bars outside of the stadium found themselves in the crosshairs of the protesters.

Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle was in attendance and his report on the mayhem and violence targeted at random baseball fans by a small segment of the protesters is horrific. Fans were attacked with beer bottles, cans, and other projectiles for no apparent reason.

All of a sudden – literally as my brother and I walked out of Bullpen – everything went haywire. What were peaceful marchers holding up signs turned into violent rioters. Innocent fans standing by were confronted by the rioters, who physically and verbally threateningly engaged many of them – and then the protesters got even more violent.

All of a sudden, beer bottles and cans, and other projectiles were lobbed by the protesters into the crowds of fans. To get those projectiles, the protesters stole them forcibly from the bartenders and vendors set up outside each of those three bars. One beer can whizzed by my brother’s face, missing him by about six inches, and more flew all over the crowded area.

The crowd of protesters then stopped a blue station wagon carrying a white family as they tried to drive past Pickles, Bullpen and Sliders along a narrow one-way stretch between the bars and the main road. As a horde of them smashed their open and closed fists on the hood of the car – while impeding them by standing in front of them – the driver backed up on the one way pass in a desperate attempt to get out of dodge. Then, stopped on the other side with nowhere to go, protesters ripped open the passenger door of the car and began reaching around inside the vehicle. As hundreds of people looked on, including several police officers who didn’t engage the violent protesters, the white woman in the front seat – middle-aged and a little heavyset with dark hair – was visibly terrified. The group of black men who ripped open the car door suddenly realized they were separated from the larger group of protesters and abandoned their quest to seemingly either carjack the station wagon or rob the people inside in front of hundreds, driving out of the one-way street back onto the main road and presumably out of dodge.

As projectiles continued flying everywhere from each part of the crowd – like a war-zone – another black man then charged into the crowd of Red Sox and Orioles fans standing outside Pickles Pub and tore the metal barricades apart throwing them into the now-crowded one-way pass where the assaulted station wagon was a moment ago.

My brother, at this point, was screaming at the group of five or so police officers. “Why aren’t you doing anything? They’re hurting people! They’re hurting people! They’re violent!” he yelled at them as they continued ignoring him and not engaging or attempting to stop the violence. (emphasis mine)

The alternative media was out in full force, with multiple independent news outlets and individuals documenting the protests, bypassing the corrupt mainstream media and bringing power to the people through live on the scene video reporting.

Talk show host and independent journalist Pete Santilli livestreamed the protests throughout the day, releasing numerous raw, uncut videos that provide a much deeper look into the days events than a two minute news clip ever could.

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Ed Declares April 23rd ‘Global Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Appreciation Day’!


Today we celebrate CARBON DIOXIDE, which – like oxygen and dihydrogen monoxide – is crucial to the existence of life on Earth.

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Wikipedia: Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) is a colorless, odorless gas vital to plant life on earth. This naturally occurring chemical compound is composed of two oxygen atoms each covalently double bonded to a single carbon atom. Carbon dioxide exists in the Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas at a concentration of about 0.04 percent (400 ppm) by volume. Its presence in the atmosphere comes primarily from three sources: it is a byproduct of animal respiration, it is a product of the combustion of materials with carbon in them, and it is a byproduct of natural decomposition done by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. Since carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it is found naturally in the oceans; it is also a major component of carbonated beverages and some types of wine and beer. The frozen solid form of CO2 is available as a commodity in many Western supermarkets, where it goes by the name of dry ice.

As part of the carbon cycle, plants, algae, and cyanobacteria use light energy to photosynthesize carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen produced as a waste product. However, photosynthesis cannot occur in darkness and at night some carbon dioxide is produced by plants during respiration. It is produced during the respiration of all other aerobic organisms and is exhaled in the breath of air-breathing land animals, including humans. Carbon dioxide is produced during the processes of decay of organic materials and the fermentation of sugars in beer and winemaking. It is produced by combustion of wood, carbohydrates and major carbon- and hydrocarbon-rich fossil fuels such as coal, peat, petroleum and natural gas. It is emitted from volcanoes, hot springs and geysers and is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. CO2 is found in lakes, at depth under the sea and commingled with oil and gas deposits.

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While it has recently become fashionable for Marxists morons to demonize carbon dioxide, we here at the DALEY GATOR would like to take a moment to pay tribute to this remarkable chemical compound.

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Plants Need CO2: Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have conclusively demonstrated that enriching the air with carbon dioxide stimulates the growth and development of nearly all plants. They have also revealed that higher-than-normal CO2 concentrations dramatically enhance the efficiency with which plants utilize water, sometimes as much as doubling it in response to a doubling of the air’s CO2 content. These CO2-induced improvements typically lead to the development of more extensive and active root systems, enabling plants to more thoroughly explore larger volumes of soil in search of the things they need. Consequently, even in soils lacking sufficient water and nutrients for good growth at today’s CO2 concentrations, plants exposed to the elevated atmospheric CO2 levels expected in the future generally show remarkable increases in vegetative productivity, which should enable them to successfully colonize low-rainfall areas that are presently too dry to support more than isolated patches of desert vegetation.

Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 also enable plants to better withstand the growth-retarding effects of various environmental stresses, including soil salinity, air pollution, high and low air temperatures, and air-borne and soil-borne plant pathogens. In fact, atmospheric CO2 enrichment can actually mean the difference between life and death for vegetation growing in extremely stressful circumstances. In light of these facts, it is not surprising that Earth’s natural and managed ecosystems have already benefited immensely from the increase in atmospheric CO2 that has accompanied the progression of the Industrial Revolution; and they will further prosper from future CO2 increases.

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“Green” activists (aka idiots) want your children to believe that man-made CO2 is a polutant, and that the Earth is in danger of overheating from excess industrial activity. This is a ridiculous notion advanced by leftist ideologues for the sole purpose of repressing the wealth-creation and prosperity of the U.S. and other western nations.

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The Australian: Looking back over millennia, today the Earth is colder, and has a lower level of atmospheric CO2 than during nearly all the history of modern life. The idea that it would be catastrophic if CO2 were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.

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Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren and feel guilty. Third, a powerful convergence of interests among key elites support the climate “narrative”. Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and engage in a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as large wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.

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Don’t let the Commie green-shirts of the world destroy your children’s future. Get in their smug, stupid little faces and let them know that you aren’t going to just sit back and watch as they brainwash the next generation into committing economic suicide. I say, fuck all the Gorebots you find with a red-hot poker… uh, metaphorically speaking, of course. It’s about damned time that we – the sane majority – confront these parasitic dimwits en masse, and boot them off their unearned moral high horses once and for all. Three cheers for CO2!

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Religion Of Peace Update: Al-Shabaab Terrorists Raid Kenyan University, Slaughter Christian Students

Are You Christian Or Muslim? What Al-Shabaab Gunmen Asked Kenyan Students As They Went Door To Door Furing University Massacre Killing At Least 15 And Injuring 60 – Daily Mail

Al-Shabaab terrorists interrogated students whether they were Christian or Muslim as they went door-to-door during this morning’s early morning massacre at a Kenyan university, killing at least 15 people.

The group raided the Garissa University campus shortly after 5am local time, overwhelming guards and killing anyone the suspected of being a Christian.

Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said that only 280 of the 815 students in the college have so far been accounted for.

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The terrorists stuck mid-way through Holy Week, the most solemn period in the Christian calendar. Tonight, the Christian students were planning to celebrate the Last Supper in preparation tomorrow for Good Friday.

Kenyan security officials said one of the terrorists has been arrested after he tried to escape the compound.

They have also offered a $220,000 bounty for Mohammed Mohamud, known as Dulyadin, alias Gamadhere, who they suspect of masterminding the attack.

Eye-witness Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said he was preparing to take a shower when he heard gunshots coming from Tana dorm, which hosts both men and women, 150 meters (yards) away.

The campus has six dormitories and at least 887 students, he said.

The remaining terrorists have been cornered in one of the four remaining dormitories according to Kenyan security officials.

He said that when he heard the gunshots he locked himself and three roommates in their room. ‘All I could hear were footsteps and gunshots nobody was screaming because they thought this would lead the gunmen to know where they are.

‘The gunmen were saying sisi ni al-Shabaab (Swaihi for we are al-Shabaab).’

Mr Wetangula said he could hear the gunmen interrogating fellow students hiding inside their rooms about their religion.

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He said: ‘If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.’

The gunmen started to shoot rapidly and it was as if there was an exchange of fire, he said.

‘The next thing, we saw people in military uniform through the window of the back of our rooms who identified themselves as the Kenyan military.’

The soldiers took him and approximately 20 others to safety.

As they were running, al-Shabaab snipers on top of a three-storey building attempted to gun them down.

He added: ‘We started running and bullets were whizzing past our heads and the soldiers told us to dive.’

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Fellow student, Augustine Alanga, 21, described a panicked scene as gunshots rang out outside their dormitory.

He said he saw at least five heavily-armed terrorists wearing masks.

He said: ‘I am just now recovering from the pain as I injured myself while trying to escape. I was running barefoot.’

He told journalists he crossed barbed-wire fencing to escape the massacre.

Mr Alanga said any students attending morning prayers at the university’s mosque at 5.30am were not attacked.

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It is understood that some of the terrorists have taken sniper positions and have been shooting police officers trying to retake the campus

One policeman said: ‘I have counted 14 bodies of dead people being carried out of the campus by a Red Cross ambulance, and they include two of our officers who were also killed

‘We are finding it difficult to access the compound because some of the attackers are on top of a building and are firing at us whenever we try to gain entry.’

A spokesman for al-Shabaab said it was claiming responsibility for the latest atrocity.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s ‘military operations spokesman’ said: ‘We sorted people out and released the Muslims.

‘There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.’

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed that a hostage situation had now developed between his men and the remaining gunmen, who are holding the students.

Troops have so far cleared three of the four dormitories.

President Kenyatta said he was going to fast-track the recruitment of 10,000 new police officers to tackle the al-Shabaab menace.

Just last week, the Chief Security Officer at the University of Nairobi feared an attack was imminent and issued a security warning – but it is unclear whether the same information was relayed to Garissa officials.

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It’s believed the gunmen attacked in the early hours, ‘during morning prayers’, setting off explosions and exchanging gunfire with security services for several hours, Kenyan media and the Red Cross said.

Witness Milka Ndung’u told NTV that the gunfire was popping ‘like fireworks’ from about 5am local time.

Ms Ndung’u said she and other students ran for their lives and took cover in a nearby field, but when the gunmen took aim, they were forced to flee their hiding spot.

Another student, Augustine Alanga, told CNN he too was woken by the shooting and looked out to see colleagues running for cover.

Musa Yego said gunshots and explosions could be heard from a building on the campus, which is surrounded by police and a military compound.

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A press release tweeted by Joseph Boinnet, the second Inspector General of Police of Kenya, confirmed the shooting began at 5.30am when attackers fired at guards at the main gate of the university.

‘Police officers who were at the time guarding the students’ hostels heard the gunshots and responded swiftly and engaged the gunmen in a fierce shootout,’ the statement from police reads.

‘However the attackers retreated and gained entry in the hostels.

Police further stated ‘they are currently engaged in an elaborate process of flushing out the gunmen from the hostels’.

Al-Shabab militants have previously vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia.

The Somalia-based group has carried out several attacks in Garissa and across Kenya, including the 2013 attack on an upscale shopping mall in the capital Nairobi.

Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in 2011 to fight al-Shabaab militants following cross-border attacks.

Last month, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for attacks in the county of Mandera on the Somali border in which twelve people died.

Four of them died in an attack on the convoy of Mandera County Governor Ali Roba.

Police statistics show that 312 people have been killed in al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya from 2012 to 2014. Thirty-eight people were killed and 149 wounded in Garissa in the same period.

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Islamo-Nazis In Paris Slaughter 12, Wound 10 More Over Cartoons (Pictures/Video)

12 Dead In Paris Massacre: Islamic Gunmen Execute French Police Officer As He Pleads For His Life After Terror Attack On Satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo At Centre Of Mohammed Cartoon Storm – Daily Mail

Twelve people were killed today when gunmen carried out a ‘massacre’ at the offices of a notoriously anti-Islamist newspaper in Paris – including a police officer who was executed as he begged for mercy on the pavement.

Three masked attackers brandishing Kalashnikovs burst into the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, opening fire on staff after seeking out journalists by name.

Those executed included four of the most famous cartoonists in France – men who had regularly satirised Islam and the Prophet Mohammed – including the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier.

Witnesses said the suspect Al Qaeda killers were heard to shout ‘the Prophet has been avenged’ and ‘Allahu akbar!’ as they stalked the building.

Horrific footage also emerged showing an injured police officer slumped on the pavement outside the office as two of the gunmen approach.

In an apparent desperate plea for his life, the officer is seen slowly raising his hand towards one of the attackers, who responds by callously shooting him in the head at point-blank range.

Despite a shoot-out with armed officers, the ‘calm and highly disciplined’ men who reportedly spoke perfect French were able to escape in a hijacked car and remain on the loose.

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By midday, there were reports of up to 12 people dead and 10 wounded, four critically, including journalists, administrative staff, and police officers who attended the scene.

President Francois Hollande described the bloodbath as a ‘barbaric attack against France and against journalists’ and vowed to hunt down those responsible.

As well as the AK47 assault rifles, there were also reports of a rocket-propelled grenade being used in the attack, which took place during the publication’s weekly editorial meeting, meaning all the journalists would have been present.

They are said to have sought out staff ‘by name’, according to a police source, adding that Charbonnier, known as Charb, a cartoonist responsible for an anti-Islam front page, was among those killed.

Mr Charbonnier was included in a 2013 Wanted Dead or Alive for Crimes Against Islam article published by Inspire, the terrorist propaganda magazine published by Al Qaeda.

Cartoonists Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski were all also reported dead.

A young mother and cartoonist who survived the massacre today told how she had let the suspected Al Qaeda killers into the office.

Corrine Rey said she had returned from picking up her young daughter from a kindergarten when she was confronted by two heavily armed men wearing balaclavas.

‘I had gone to pick up my daughter at day care, arriving in front of the building, where two masked and armed men brutally threatened us,’ said Ms Rey, who draws under the name ‘Coco’.

‘They said they wanted to go up to the offices, so I tapped in the code,’ said Ms Rey, referring to the digi-code security system on the interphone.

Ms Rey and her daughter hid under a desk, from where they say two other cartoonists being executed. ‘They shot Wolinski and Cabu,’ she said. ‘It lasted five minutes. I had taken refuge under a desk.’

Ms Rey said the men ‘spoke French perfectly’ and ‘claimed they were ‘Al Qaeda terrorists’.

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Florence Pouvil, a salesperson at Lunas France on Rue Nicolas Appert, opposite the Charlie Hebdo offices, told MailOnline: ‘I saw two people with big guns, like Kalashnikovs outside our office and then we heard firing. We were very confused.’

‘There were two guys who came out of the building and shot everywhere. We hid on the floor, we were terrified.

‘They came from the building opposite with big guns. It has a bunch of different companies inside. Some of our co-workers work there so we were frightened for them.

‘They weren’t just firing inside the Charlie Hebdo offices. They were firing in the street too.

‘We feared for our lives so we hid under our desks so they wouldn’t see us. Both men were dressed in black from head to toe and their faces were covered so I didn’t see them.

‘They were wearing military clothes, it wasn’t common clothing, like they were soldiers.’

Benoit Bringer, a journalist at the scene who works next door, took refuge on the roof of the building, which is in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

He said: ‘There were very many people in the building. We evacuated via the roof just next to the office. After around ten minutes we saw two heavily armed, masked men in the street’.

Another witness said: ‘There was a loud gunfire and at least one explosion. When police arrived there was a mass shoot-out. The men got away by car, stealing a car.’

A police official, Luc Poignant, said: ‘It’s carnage.’

The latest tweet published by the newspaper’s official Twitter account featured a cartoon of Abu Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State.

After the shooting, hundreds of comments were posted on the Charlie Hebdo Twitter page, with one user, David Rault, writing: ‘A sad day for freedom of expression.’

Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief Gerard Biard escaped the carnage because he was in London.

He told France Inter: ‘I am shocked that people can have attacked a newspaper in France, a secular republic. I don’t understand it.

‘I don’t understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war.’

Mr Biard said he did not believe the attack was linked to the newspaper’s latest front page, which featured novelist Michel Houellebecq, who has previously sparked controversy with comments about Islam.

And he said the newspaper had not received threats of violence: ‘Not to my knowledge, and I don’t think anyone had received them as individuals, because they would have talked about it. There was no particular tension at the moment.’

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A visibly shocked French President François Hollande, speaking live near the scene of the shooting, said: ‘France is today in shock, in front of a terrorist attack.

‘This newspaper was threatened several rimes in the past and we need to show we are a united country.

‘We have to be firm, and we have to be stand strong with the international community in the coming days and weeks.

‘We are at a very difficult moment following several terrorist attacks. We are threated because we are a country of freedom

‘We will punish the attackers. We will look for the people responsible.’

Prime Minister David Cameron joined the condemnation of the attack, saying: ‘The murders in Paris are sickening.

‘We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.’

The British Foreign Office immediately updated is advice for travellers heading to Pairs, warning: ‘There is a high threat from terrorism.’

It added: ‘If you’re in Paris or the Ile de France area take extra care and follow advice of French authorities.’

Luce Lapin and Laurent Leger, who have both worked at Charlie Hebdo, were using Twitter hours before the attack, with the most recent tweet posted by Lapin praising cartoonist Cabu.

It read: ‘Cabu, a great man! And honest, he doesn’t eat foie gras.’

While Leger’s made a political point about taxes.

It said: ‘Macron [French ministry of economy] wants more billionaires in France, the same that use tricks for not paying ISF [solidarity tax on wealth].’

A source close to the investigation said men ‘armed with a Kalashnikov and a rocket-launcher’ stormed the building in central Paris and ‘fire was exchanged with security forces.’

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The offices of the same newspaper were burnt down in a petrol attack in 2011 after running a magazine cover of the Prophet Mohammed as a cartoon character.

At the time, the editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier, said Islam could not be excluded from freedom of the press.

He said: ‘If we can poke fun at everything in France, if we can talk about anything in France apart from Islam or the consequences of Islamism, that is annoying.’

Mr Charbonnier, also known as Charb, said he did not see the attack on the newspaper as the work of French Muslims, but of what he called ‘idiot extremists’.

The cover showed Mohammed saying: ‘100 lashes if you are not dying of laughter’.

This week’s Charlie Hebdo also featured the author Houellebecq, whose new novel imagines Muslims tkaing over the French government in 2022.

Inside, there was an editorial, attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, and more cartoons – one showing the Prophet with a clown’s red nose.

Depiction of the Prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam, but the newspaper denied it was trying to be provocative.

A firebomb attack gutted the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammed on its cover.

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Successful Launch Of Orion Spacecraft First Step Towards Mars Mission (Pictures / Video)

‘Day One Of The Mars Era': Orion Test Flight That Heralds New Age Of Space Exploration Launches After Yesterday’s Technical Glitches – Daily Mail

For the first time in nearly half a century, Nasa has launched a spaceship designed to carry astronauts far beyond Earth.

Riding atop a fountain of fire, the 24-story-tall Orion spacecraft soared above the Atlantic Ocean at 12.05 GMT (07.05 ET), punching through partly cloudy skies.

The unmanned craft is now being catapulted around the Earth twice in a 4.5 hour journey, which will end 16:30 GMT (11:30 ET) when it re-enters the atmosphere at 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h).

In the future, Nasa hopes to use the spacecraft to send astronauts to an asteroid in the 2020s and ultimately take them to Mars in the 2030s.

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‘The star of the day is Orion,’ said Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden, back for the second morning in a row. He called it ‘Day one of the Mars era.’

The maiden launch of the Orion spacecraft was postponed yesterday, after a technical fault, a stray boat and poor weather conditions hampered efforts to blast into space.

However, today’s launch was described by Nasa as ‘picture perfect’ – and so far all of the separation stages have gone to plan.

As the rocket roared into orbit, cameras streamed video showing dramatic pictures of the two side boosters falling away and the curved edge of the Earth.

Nasa is aiming for a peak altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km) on Orion’s second lap around the planet, in order to give the capsule the necessary momentum for a scorchingly high-speed re-entry over the Pacific.

The spacecraft has travelled through Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts that protect the planet from charged particles. Scientists say this will show how well equipment tolerates radiation like that experienced on the long journey to Mars.

Just three minutes into the launch, the spacecraft was already travelling at five times the speed of sound.

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Engineers want to see how the heat shield – the largest of its kind ever built – holds up when Orion comes back through the atmosphere traveling 20,000 mph (32,200 kph)and enduring 4,000 degrees (2,200 Celsius).

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The atmosphere at Kennedy Space Center was reminiscent of the shuttle-flying days. After more than three years since the last shuttle flight, Nasa reveled in all the attention.

Launch commentator Mike Curie fed the enthusiasm in the gathered crowds, calling it ‘the dawn of Orion in a new era of American space exploration’

Mark Geyer, Orion programme manager at Nasa, said: ‘It was very good to see how well the rocket did its job and very exciting to see it go up into space.

‘Now it is actually doing the job it was designed to do. We still have a long way to go with this mission but everything is going great.

‘All the systems were on already, we have linked up to the satellites.

‘We had a few key tests to run in the first six minutes of the flight that were very important for us.

‘We jettisoned service module fairing which are there to reduce mass on the rest of Orion. This is a critical event these pyrotechnic systems and it went perfectly.

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Orion is being developed alongside the world’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), which is due to make its maiden launch in 2018 or 2019.

Together, SLS and Orion will allow Nasa to send humans into deep space to destinations such as Mars.

For this launch, Orion was strapped to a Delta IV-Heavy rocket – currently the largest launch system in the world. Three RS-68 engines produced about two million pounds of thrust at lift-off.

Five and a half minutes after launch, at an altitude of around 200 miles (320km), fuel ran out on both the Delta IV’s main and booster engines.

A couple of seconds later, the entire bottom end – or the ‘first stage’ of the rocket – detached, while the second stage engine will ignited to take Orion to a higher orbit.

The upper stage’s protective fairings were then jettisoned, along with the launch abort system, which is designed to protect the astronauts in the case of an emergency during launch by carrying the capsule to safety.

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After two hours, and one orbit of Earth, the second-stage rocket will be ignited again, moving Orion up to an altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km).

This is 15 times the distance to the ISS and will cause Orion to travel through the high-radiation Van Allen Belts.

At three hours after lift-off, Orion will hit its peak altitude and then slowly start its descent back to Earth

The flight program has been loaded into Orion’s computers well in advance, allowing the spacecraft to fly essentially on autopilot.

It should give engineers the opportunity to check the performance of Orion’s critical heat shield, which is likely to experience temperatures in excess of 2,000ºC (4,000°F).

Its re-entry speed into the atmosphere will be close to 20,000mph (32,000km/h) – similar to the speed of the Apollo capsules that returned from the moon in the 1960s and 1970s.

The dry run, if all goes well, will end with a Pacific splashdown off Mexico’s Baja coast and Navy ships will recover the capsule for future use.

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The spacecraft is rigged with 1,200 sensors to gauge everything from heat to vibration to radiation.

Geyer said: ‘We’re going to test the riskiest parts of the mission. Ascent, entry and things like fairing separations, Launch Abort System jettison, the parachute, plus the navigation and guidance – all those things are going to be tested.

‘Plus, we’ll fly into deep space and test the radiation effects on those systems.’

A crucial test came when Orion flies flew through the Van Allen belts, which are two layers of charged particles orbiting around Earth.

‘The ISS would not have to deal with radiation but we will, and so will every vehicle that goes to the moon,’ Geyer told the BBC.

‘That’s a big issue for the computers. These processors that are now so small – they’re great for speed but they’re more susceptible to radiation.

‘That’s something we have to design for and see how it all behaves.’

Another key test was on the heat shield on Orion’s base, designed to protect the craft from the searing temperatures of atmospheric re-entry.

It is 16.5ft (five metres) across and is the biggest, most advanced of its kind ever made.

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On this flight, Orion will reach close to 2,000ºC (4,000°F), not quite the 2,800ºC (5,000ºF) that was generated from the moon missions, but close enough for a good test of the technology.

That’s why Orion will aim for a 3,600 miles (5,800 km) peak altitude to pick up enough speed to come back fast and hot with this mission, officially called Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1).

Even though bears a strong resemblance to the Apollo command module that carried astronauts to the moon in the 1960s, it is bristling with the latest technology that makes it markedly different.

‘There’s an obvious comparison to draw between this first Orion launch and the first unmanned flight of the Apollo spacecraft on Apollo 4 [in 1967], but there are more differences than similarities,’ space historian Amy Teitel told MailOnline.

‘Apollo 4 flew a nearly lunar-ready command and service module, was the first flight of the Saturn V rocket, and demonstrated that both the S-IVB rocket stage and the spacecraft’s own engine could ignite in a vacuum.

‘The EFT-1 flight is only testing a spacecraft; it doesn’t even have its service module!

‘With Apollo 4, we knew we were going to the moon and it was clear this mission was putting us firmly back on that path after the major setback of the Apollo 1 fire. With Orion, we don’t have a clear goal and a firm timeline for this new spacecraft.’

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But at 11ft (3.6 metres) tall with a 16.5ft (5 metres) base, Orion is much larger than the old-time Apollo capsules, and is designed to carry four astronauts rather than three.

The earliest Orion might carry passengers is 2021; a mission to an asteroid is on the space agency’s radar sometime in the 2020s and Mars, the grand prize, in the 2030s.

‘We’re approaching this as pioneers,’ said William Hill of Nasa’s exploration systems development office.

‘We’re going out to stay eventually… It’s many, many decades away, but that’s our intent.’

However, Nasa has yet to develop the technology to carry out manned surface operations on Mars.

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By comparison, it took eight years from the time President John Kennedy announced his intentions of landing a man on the moon – before John Glenn even became the first American to orbit Earth – to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s lunar bootprints in 1969.

Given the present budget situation, ‘it is what it is,’ said Kennedy Space Center’s director Robert Cabana, a former astronaut. And the presidential election ahead could bring further delays and uncertainties.

Lockheed Martin is handling the £236 million ($370 million) test flight, and Nasa will be overseeing its operation.

Nasa’s last trip beyond low-Earth orbit in a vessel built for people was Apollo 17 in December 1972.

‘This is just the first of what will be a long line of exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit,’ said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development.

‘In a few years we will be sending our astronauts to destinations humans have never experienced. It’s thrilling to be a part of the journey now, at the beginning.’

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